Day of the Bastille, Paris by Child Hassam

Day of the Bastille, Paris by Child Hassam

The day of the capture of the Bastille, invariably associated with the Great Revolution, is dear to the heart of every Frenchman, and it is not surprising that Hassam, who lived for some time in Paris, decided to dedicate one of his works to the event. The painting is written in bright, clean colors, with firm, broad strokes. Against the backdrop of the hustling inhabitants and massive buildings close to each other, a national flag is a bright accent spot. This tricolor, as a symbol of freedom, more than once became the main acting hero of paintings of similar themes. Suffice it to recall Delacroix.


Paris works are, more often than not, urban scenes. Here is the picture presented – this is an image of the city with leisurely strolling people, whose figures do not have clearly defined lines, small shopping benches and smooth pavements. Art historians consider this work to be the “anticipator” of the famous Flags series, which will be written in the beginning of the 1910s.

The painting attracts attention the unique harmony that is so characteristic of the author’s works – a lively street painted with pastel tones with contrasting yellow and red inserts is logically complemented by a developing flag that instantly focuses on itself, transforming into a main character, embodying the main theme of the picture. The city landscape itself surprises – the master did not follow the traditional image of French streets, having chosen his own way. Hassam himself was eager to see the features of the New World on the streets of Paris, declaring that today Paris has become quite American.

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